AbbVie is committed to being fully transparent and compliant with our policies and disclosures.
Policies & Disclosures
At AbbVie, we’re passionate about combining advanced science with a deep knowledge of the patient experience and worldwide health care systems to help people live better, more productive lives.
AbbVie is extremely proud to support patient care through the provision of grants to healthcare and patient organisations. In addition, we take pride in helping to subsidise the cost of ongoing learning of NHS healthcare professionals (HCPs) by providing financial support to attend independent third-party medical educational events and conferences. We feel this is aligned to our commitment to support HCPs, and ultimately the health and wellbeing of the patients they serve.
Collaboration of industry with healthcare organisations, patient organisations and HCPs is essential to advance patient care, gain insights into unmet medical needs and progress the development of new medicines.
Transparency is key to ensuring that HCPs and organisations can continue to collaborate to bring new, innovative treatments to patients while ensuring that concerns about the relationship and payments (to reimburse them for their time and expertise) between HCPs/patient organisations and industry are addressed.
In accordance with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Code of Practice, AbbVie’s* disclosure of funding support is published below.
* AbbVie’s acquisition of Allergan completed in Q2, 2020. As such, Allergan and AbbVie will maintain separate reporting mechanisms in respect of their 2019 transfers of value to HCOs, HCPs and patient organisations.
Patient organisation funding (2017-2019):
Annually, AbbVie publishes an updated list of its financial support of European Patient Organisations. Our publication of the following report demonstrates our commitment to transparent disclosure of our financial relationships with patient organisations.
HCP/ Healthcare organisation funding:
Since 2016, the ABPI has required that its members disclose payments to healthcare organisations and health professionals.
Disclosure of 2019 data during the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020
As part of the pharmaceutical industry’s annual disclosure of transfers of value to HCPs, other relevant decision makers (ORDMs) and HCOs via the Disclosure UK platform and in order to ensure accuracy of the published data, the ABPI writes to all of the HCPs, ORDMs and HCOs named in companies’ disclosure data ahead of its publication on Disclosure UK at the end of June (over 20,000 in June 2019.)
Given the unprecedented pressure on the NHS and healthcare professionals in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, in April 2020 the ABPI and PMCPA agreed that it would not be appropriate for industry to write to HCPs, ORDMs or HCOs to request that disclosure data be reviewed. Doing so would add additional work for NHS professionals at this time. To avoid this, and in-line with guidance provided by the ABPI, AbbVie’s 2019 transfer of value data was published on Disclosure UK in aggregate.
This was always intended to be a temporary change, with the ABPI committed to exploring how the full disaggregated 2019 data could be submitted to Disclosure UK in line with data from previous years. AbbVie’s 2019 disaggregated data is now available on Disclosure UK. These data, which we validated with HCPs, also continue to be available on our website.
If you are an HCP and have an enquiry related to the transparency initiative, please send an email to UK.Transparency@abbvie.com
To comply with the UK requirements under paragraph 19(2), schedule
19 of the Finance Act 2016, this tax policy statement has been
prepared for AbbVie Ltd and its subsidiary (AbbVie Australasia
Holdings Ltd). The principles outlined in this statement also apply
to the other companies in the AbbVie Group which are either
incorporated or established in the UK and were registered for UK
corporate income tax during 2020 consistent with paragraph 22(2),
schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016. A list of the relevant entities
covered by this strategy is set out in Annex 1.
Our approach to taxes
AbbVie is a global biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories and materially enhanced following the acquisition of the Allergan Group in 2020. We employ approximately 47,000 people worldwide and deliver medicines to patients in more than 175 countries. Our mission is to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world’s most complex and serious diseases. AbbVie’s financial performance, including management of tax expense and risk, enables that mission. We are committed to achieving our goals while operating responsibly and delivering meaningful contributions to the communities where we live and work.
Our business activities around the world incur a substantial amount and variety of business taxes. We pay corporate income taxes, customs duties, excise taxes, stamp duties, property taxes, sales and use taxes, value added taxes, employment and other business taxes at the relevant levels in all jurisdictions where applicable. The taxes we pay represent a significant contribution to the communities in which we operate.
Our tax function is managed by the corporate tax department and led by the Vice President of Tax & Treasury, who reports directly to the Chief Financial Officer. The VP and CFO periodically report to the audit committee of the Board of Directors. AbbVie’s approach to the management of tax risk is grounded in proactively monitoring and complying with the relevant tax laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which AbbVie operates in order to ensure that the correct amount of taxes are identified and paid at the correct time. Our business tax processes are subject to internal controls, AbbVie’s Global Code of Business Conduct and external audit review.
Our tax function supports the business needs of the company. Thus,
business transactions and activities circumscribe our approach to
taxes. We ensure that the tax positions taken are consistent with the
letter and spirit of the relevant tax laws in all affected
jurisdictions, and aligned with the economic substance of the business
transactions to which they relate.
To address patient needs around the world, AbbVie’s operating business requires a robust global supply chain. That supply chain necessitates structures, contracts and transactions among AbbVie’s affiliated companies. Those intercompany relationships must satisfy local and international tax requirements, which are not always clear or consistent. We manage that complexity by conducting rigorous analyses, often supported by external opinions, to ensure compliance with relevant tax laws. AbbVie does not artificially shift profits to tax haven jurisdictions. AbbVie adheres to the arm’s-length principle in its intercompany dealings, consistent with OECD guidelines and local tax laws.
Level of tax risk we are prepared to accept
While we do not have a prescriptive level of risk, we aim to minimise the risk as far as possible. Tax risks can arise for a number of reasons, including gaps or ambiguities in local tax laws, difficulties in interpreting those laws of the specific context of a transaction, or disagreements among tax authorities as to their respective rights to tax the profits associated with a particular transaction. We mitigate those risks in three principal ways. First, our tax processes, policies and governance function aim to ensure compliance with tax laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Second, when we identify a gap or ambiguity in determining the correct application of local tax laws to the specific situation, we seek advice from external advisors to ensure that any tax positions taken are well supported. Finally, we engage with tax authorities to ensure that they have timely access to any information needed to evaluate our tax positions and rationales.
Approach to interacting with tax authorities
We are committed to creating and maintaining open and positive
relationships with governments and tax authorities worldwide. We seek
to identify and resolve any disagreements in a collaborative and
proactive manner, including via participation in continuous compliance
/ monitoring programmes and advance pricing agreements, where
available and appropriate. The programmes provide certainty for both
AbbVie and tax authorities over the tax treatment of AbbVie’s
For a PDF copy of this tax strategy please click here
This tax strategy applies to the following UK entities:
- AbbVie Ltd
- AbbVie Australasia Holdings Limited
- AbbVie UK Holdco Limited
- AbbVie UK Limited
- AbbVie Biotherapeutics Limited
- AbbVie Investments Limited
- AbbVie Trustee Company Limited
- Allergan Holdco UK Limited
- Akarna Therapeutics Limited
- Pharmax Holding Limited
- LifeCell EMEA Limited
- Zeltiq Limited
- Allergan Development Ventures I UK
- Allergan Holdings Limited
- Allergan Limited
- Aptalis Pharma UK Limited
- Northwood Medical Innovation Limited
- Allergan Biologics Limited
Joint Working between Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and AbbVie Ltd, is focussed on delivering better healthcare outcomes for Hepatitis C patients in Swansea by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare services. An executive summary outlining Joint Working between Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and AbbVie Ltd can be found here.